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Kern & Hammerstein II: Show Boat - Frederica von Stade, Teresa Stratas, Jerry Hadley, Bruce Hubbard, John McGlinn, London Sinfonietta & Ambrosian Chorus
Jerome Kern, John McGlinn, London Sinfonietta
Kern & Hammerstein II: Show Boat - Frederica von Stade, Teresa Stratas, Jerry Hadley, Bruce Hubbard, John McGlinn, London Sinfonietta & Ambrosian Chorus
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
 
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (36) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (29) - Disc #3

John McGlinn's sprawling, monumental three-CD set is about all the Show Boat any listener could ever ask for. In an obvious labor of love, McGlinn reconstructs the show as it ran on opening night, November 15, 1927, includ...  more »

      
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John McGlinn's sprawling, monumental three-CD set is about all the Show Boat any listener could ever ask for. In an obvious labor of love, McGlinn reconstructs the show as it ran on opening night, November 15, 1927, including every song, the original orchestrations, and all underscored dialogue. The most significant restoration is the dark choral number "Mis'ry's Comin' Aroun'," as Show Boat's serious subject matter helped establish its place as the most important turning point in the history of American musical theater. McGlinn also adds an appendix that includes songs cut before opening night and every song subsequently written for the show's many productions, most notably the love duet "I Have the Room Above Her," written for the 1936 film. (The recording is also available in a one-disc reduction called the "Broadway Show Album.") Rest assured this 221-minute blockbuster is not just dry scholarship; it's also terrific listening, with McGlinn conducting a dynamic London Sinfonietta and a strong cast including Frederica von Stade as Magnolia, Jerry Hadley as Ravenal, Teresa Stratas as the tragic Julie, Bruce Hubbard as the worldly wise Joe, Karla Burns as Queenie, and David Garrison and Paige O'Hara as the comic couple Frank and Ellie. And of course the songs by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II are among the most glorious ever written: "Ol' Man River," "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man," "Make Believe," "Why Do I Love You," "Bill," "You Are Love," and "Life upon the Wicked Stage." Also included are exhaustive production notes, a history of the show, a detailed synopsis, and a libretto. John McGlinn's Show Boat is a staggering achievement and a recording for the ages. --David Horiuchi

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CD Reviews

The historic set reissued at a "popular" price
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 10/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In the fall of 1988, EMI made history by releasing a note-complete recording of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's immortal musical SHOW BOAT.

Surprisingly, the original 1927 version had never been recorded complete. Those in search of the entire score were forced to assemble it themselves from a number of available recordings.

The record labels were not making full original cast albums in 1927, although a few of the original stars made singles of their hit songs. Brunswick issued an album of highlights from the 1932 revival but only 3 of the six selections were by members of the Broadway cast.

Columbia's album of the 1946 revival was closer, but limited to five 12-inch 78 it covered only nine songs and the new Overture created for the revival.

Columbia re-recorded essentially the same program for a studio cast disc headed by Barbara Cook and John Raitt.

Cook starred in the 1966 Lincoln revival, recorded by RCA Victor but again it is a fairly truncated album covering little more than the key hit songs.

It seemed strange no one tried a 2- LP set, but when the show was revived in London in 1972 the cast album for that production was issued as a single LP in England and a special 2 LP set in the U.S. Still, it did not contain the entire score.

Dozens of other SHOW BOAT discs had been issued over the years, but none of them included the complete score with the original orchestrations.

That is what made EMI's set so historic. John McGlinn conducts the most authentic reading of the score ever laid down. Two very full Cd's cover the opening night score (and quite a bit of dialogue.) A third CD includes cut songs, alternate versions and new songs added to later productions. All of this was accompanied by a very thick booklet (134 pages!) that contained essays on the reconstruction, a detailed synopsis, all the lyrics and text as included on the recording and dozens of photographs.

The album was a huge, expensive gamble that paid off handsomely: The recording went to #1 on the Billboard Classical charts, was a steady best-seller for years and then just as interest was starting to wane, a new stage production premiered to rave reviews in Toronto and then moved to Broadway where it won the Tony as Best Revival of 1995 (it was, after all, the season's best musical) and enjoyed a long run.

Now, EMI has reissued this recording at a budget price. No, you don't get the same detailed booklet but you do get the wonderful performances by Jerry Hadley, Frederica Von Stade, Teresa Stratas, Bruce Hubbard, Karla Burns, Dave Garrison, and Paige O'Hara. If I have any quibbles with this set - and I am not completely sure it even qualifies as a quibble - it is the somewhat mannered readings of some of the dialogue. On the other hand, SHOW BOAT is about a theatrical family so there's no reason why they would not play broadly when off stage as well.

In the end, it's the music that matters here and the fine performances supplemented by McGlinn's bright conducting make this an essential disc for any theatre fan's collection.
"
Yup, it's great
Classic Music Lover | Maryland, USA | 05/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Having just acquired this album and listening to it in one (l-o-n-g) sitting, I have to agree with everything stated by other Amazon reviewers. (I didn't think too much of Jerry Hadley, though.)

One other thing that struck me was the original spoken dialogue that contains quite a few references that are NOT AT ALL "politically correct" in today's social environment. I wonder how controversial it was when EMI was putting this production together; did they consider making changes to the original dialogue? Maybe it's like Mark Twain's Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer: a classic's a classic. Still, I doubt many school music programs are using this recording as a reference demonstration of American musical theater!"
Show Boat applaud
Margaret Anderson | Sandy, UT, USA | 09/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A powerful story still relevant in our 21st century. Gorgeous voices. Jerry Hadley's recent death seems even more of a loss after hearing his lovely tenor."